Obituary: Walter Ambord

Coach, entrepreneur, family man


Walter E. Ambord, 85, died at his home in San Clemente on February 19, 2016, surrounded by many of his children and grandchildren and his wife Bridget.

Walt was born on September 25, 1930 in Doris, California to Anna Johanna (Holzer) and Vitus Joseph Ambord. He was a successful businessman, owning and operating First Cabin Refurb Co in San Clemente for more than 30 years. He was football coach and associate professor of physical education at Pomona College for 27 years prior.

Besides coaching football at Pomona, his tenure included coaching baseball, wrestling and golf in addition to numerous physical education activity courses. Mr. Ambord also started and ran the very successful Pomona College Swim School during summers, employing many of his students from Pomona College as well as his own children and many other young people from the community. He was active in whatever community he found himself in and was well-loved by many because of his huge heart and boundless energy. He gave of himself generously, and had an endless love for his children and grandchildren.

Mr. Ambord’s lifetime passions in addition to football, golf and kids included a love affair with cars that got his driveway and surrounding streets dubbed “Walt Ambord’s Used Car Lot.” Probably less known is his tremendous artistic and creative talents that took form not only in specialty painting for his business, but in several watercolor paintings he produced over the years.

Walt’s family believes his greatest legacy is his kind and loving heart, and his willingness and desire to help others less fortunate than himself. He will be missed beyond words, family shared, but he will be remembered forever in the hearts of all who loved him.

He is survived by his wife Bridget; his children Loree Doan, Mark Ambord (Kathleen Noonan), Julie Ambord, Debbie Foster (Ron Foster), Joe Ambord, Justin Karrer (Kathy), Brandon Karrer (Nicole), Kate Starkenburg, Amy Kayl and Sean Starkenburg (Joanna); and his friend and ex-wife Liz Ambord.

He also leaves his grandchildren Ryan (Amy) Doan, Nick Doan (predeceased) (Kate), Daniel Ambord, Caitlin (Aaron) Peterson, Paige Ambord, Kirsten, Kiley and Shane Foster, Drew Delvaux, Mindy Kayl, Brittany Heath, Savannah and Delilah Karrer, Jackson, Stella and Amara Karrer and Annika and Oliver Starkenburg, as well as five great-grandchildren.

A celebration of his life will be held Wednesday, March 9 at 1 p.m. at Our Lady of the Assumption Catholic Church, 435 N. Berkeley Ave. in Claremont. A reception will immediately follow the service. The family requests that no flowers be ordered and no donations be made. Burial will be private.


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